The Ventura County Library has been tremendously impacted by the ongoing Thomas Fire that continues to burn in Ventura County, CA. Several library branches are closed due to mandatory evacuations, power outages, fire danger, inaccessible or unsafe travel routes to and from facilities, unavailable staffing, and air quality. No library facilities have been burned or damaged at this point, but some County Library employees have lost homes.
We have expanded hours of operation at many of the Ventura County Library branches that are not impacted by the fire, so that residents who have lost homes can have access to computers and the Internet. The Library also sent its Mobile Education Van to the Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, where Library staff are holding story times and providing other basic library services. Please see attached photos of Senior City Librarian Irma Morales holding story time at the evacuation shelter at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
The Ventura County Library is also in discussions with other Ventura County Agencies to lend support as needed, including serving as drop-in information centers where affected citizens can go for information and assistance, and continuing to provide access to computers and the Internet. Library staff will be trained to answer basic FAQs from across the County Agencies, including referring people to the appropriate County resources.
It is a difficult time in Ventura County, but through this tragic situation it has come to light that our public libraries and staff remain a vital and relevant part of the communities we serve. Thank you to all of you who have reached out with good thoughts and support during this time.
Deputy Library Director
Ventura County Library System